Fitbit Charge 4: what we want to see

The Fitbit Charge 3 only landed in October and it’s an impressive device, ranking high on our list of the best fitness trackers. But there’s no reason to think Fitbit will stop at three – there’s probably going to be a Fitbit Charge 4 sooner or later.

And good as the Fitbit Charge 3 is, there’s still plenty of room for Fitbit to improve things for a fourth generation. After all, our review gave it four stars – so that’s one star still to get.

With that in mind we’ve created a list of the things we most want from the Fitbit Charge 4, if and when it arrives. You’ll find that below, along with news, rumors and release date information. There’s not much to go on yet, but we’ll add to this article as soon as we hear anything.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next entry in the Fitbit Charge range
  • When is it out? Not before late 2019
  • What will it cost? Maybe £129.99 / $149.95 / AU$229.95

Fitbit Charge 4 release date and price

The Fitbit Charge 3 landed in October 2018, so we probably won’t see the Fitbit Charge 4 before around October 2019.

However, there’s a good chance we’ll have a longer wait, as there was roughly two years between the Charge 3 and the Fitbit Charge 2. There was also roughly two years between the launch of the original Fitbit Charge and the Charge 2, so it might actually be around October 2020 that we get the Fitbit Charge 4.

It’s likely to land late in whatever year it does launch though, as that’s been the case with the previous numbered models. The Fitbit Charge HR was a slightly exception, as it went on sale in January 2015, but it was announced in October 2014, alongside the original Fitbit Charge.

We can only guess at the price so far too, but the standard Fitbit Charge 3 launched for £129.99 / $149.95 / AU$229.95. That’s the same as what the Charge 2 cost at launch, so it’s very possible that the Fitbit Charge 4 will cost that much as well. If anything though the price will probably be higher rather than lower.

The Fitbit Charge 4 might cost the same as the Fitbit Charge 3

The Fitbit Charge 4 might cost the same as the Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 4 news and rumors

We don’t know anything about the Fitbit Charge 4 yet, but we can take some guesses. For example, it’s very likely to retain most of the features of the Fitbit Charge 3, including a waterproof build, a heart rate monitor, swim tracking and a somewhat similar design – with a rectangular screen and a plastic or silicone strap.

But it will also presumably add and improve features. For example, the Charge 3 has connected GPS (that being a connection to your phone’s GPS), so the Fitbit Charge 4 will surely have that at the very least. But it might go one better and have proper GPS of its own.

We’re not sure what else will change, but we have some suggestions below.

What we want to see

While we wait for news and rumors about the Fitbit Charge 4 to roll in, here’s what we most want from the wearable.

1. Onboard GPS

Perhaps the biggest missing feature from the Fitbit Charge 3 is onboard GPS. It does at least have connected GPS, but that means you need to take your phone out running with you if you want GPS tracking, which isn’t ideal.

So for the Fitbit Charge 4 we’d like to see GPS added. If it is added and Fitbit doesn’t drop the ball in any other ways, then the Charge 4 could be a fitness tracker with no major failings.

2. A color screen

We'd like to see a color screen on the next model

We'd like to see a color screen on the next model

The Fitbit Charge 3 has a bigger screen than the Fitbit Charge 2, but it’s still monochrome. For the Fitbit Charge 4 we want to see some color added.

Adding color to the screen should make it nicer to look at and interact with and while it might hit the battery life the effect should be minimal. That said, an option to switch to monochrome if you want to save battery would be appreciated too.

3. Standard USB-C or wireless charging

The Fitbit Charge 3 has a proprietary charger, which basically means that if you don’t have the charger with you then you probably won’t be able to charge it, as it’s unlikely someone you’re with will have a compatible charger lying around.

So for the Fitbit Charge 4 we’d like it to work with standard USB-C chargers or standard wireless chargers, as they’re both becoming increasingly common.

4. Fitbit Pay as standard

There is a version of the Fitbit Charge 3 that comes with NFC and Fitbit Pay built in, but we want to see it come as standard on the Fitbit Charge 4, rather than being a feature you have to pay extra for.

Contactless payments can be very useful, especially on a fitness tracker, as you’re not likely to want to bring your wallet on a run, so with Fitbit Pay you’ll still be able to stop for a drink if you need to.

5. A nicer strap

The Fitbit Charge 3 doesn't come with the nicest of straps

The Fitbit Charge 3 doesn't come with the nicest of straps

We weren’t the biggest fans of the plastic strap that the standard Fitbit Charge 3 comes with. There are silicone and leather bands available from Fitbit, but these cost extra.

We’d like the Fitbit Charge 4 to come with a silicone strap out of the box, since this is a lot nicer to work out in. Even if it means paying a bit extra, you’ll still be saving money overall versus having to buy one separately.

The Fitbit Charge 3 doesn’t support apps, but we’d like it if the Fitbit Charge 4 did, especially if it gets a color screen.

Fitbit already has an App Gallery for devices like the Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Versa, so we’d like to see the Fitbit Charge 4 also given access. That could help make it smarter and more versatile than the average fitness tracker.

7. Better battery life

The Fitbit Charge 3 doesn’t have bad battery life. In fact, at close to seven days between charges it’s perfectly reasonable, but it is still beaten by some fitness trackers, so we’d like to see further improvements made here.

This is especially important as the Charge 3 – and most fitness trackers – can also be used to track sleep, which can’t be done so easily on nights when you have to plug them in.